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was fully occupied in keeping with the hounds at all,
Denis never seemed to have half his mind on the
horse he was riding. His eyes were on the hounds,
and he went over the country, as we used to say, "as
if it wasn't there".

During January and February in his first season I
had many good days with the Ringwell, riding any-
thing I could hire or borrow when I hadn't one of
my own to bring out. Stephen hunted regularly
from his barracks, and shared my appreciation of
Denis. He was ready, he said, to knock anyone off
his horse who uttered a word of criticism against the
huntsman. His main ambition in life being to hunt
a pack of hounds himself, he appointed himself a sort
of amateur second whipper-in, and he was never so
happy as when Denis asked him to watch the end of a
covert or stop some hounds when they had divided
and a few couple were away on the line of a second
fox. Stephen called me a lucky old devil to be staying
at the Kennels so often. He liked soldiering well
enough, but the horses were his real interest. The
guns, he said, were nothing but a nuisance, and he,
for one, had no wish to chuck shells at anyone.

During the month of March my movements were
restricted by the Goal Strike. There were no trains,
and I missed some of the best hunts of the season. But
I had a few days with the Dumborough and made
myself conspicuous by jumping every fence I could

Dixon, who had been rather out of it, now came
in for the solemnities of preparing Cockbird for the
point-to-points. I ran him in a few "Open" races,
but found that he couldn't go quite fast enough,
though he jumped faultlessly and once finished third
in a field of a dozen. Thanks to his reliability I was